Along during the morning I borrowed a sheet and a
white shirt off of the clothes-line; and I found an old sack
and put them in it, and we went down and got the foxfire, and put that in too. I called it borrowing, because that
was what pap always called it
hands no show to get well of the sores, and we didnt
seem to make no headway, hardly; so Tom says:
I know how to fix it. We got to have a rock for the
coat of arms and mournful inscriptions, and we can kill
two birds with that same rock. Theres a gaudy bi
and Tom superintended. He could out-superintend any
boy I ever see. He knowed how to do everything.
Our hole was pretty big, but it warnt big enough to
get the grindstone through; but Jim he took the pick and
soon made it big enough. Then Tom marked out t
Conqueror in the Mayflower or one of them early ships
and was hid away up garret with a lot of other old pots
and things that was valuable, not on account of being any
account, be- cause they warnt, but on account of them
being relicts, you know, and we s
I reckon I knowed that, Tom says, but you bet hell
have one before he goes out of this because hes going
out RIGHT, and there aint going to be no flaws in his
So whilst me and Jim filed away at the pens on a
brickbat apiece, Jim a-making hisn out
MAKING them pens was a distressid tough job, and so
was the saw; and Jim allowed the in- scription was going
to be the toughest of all. Thats the one which the
prisoner has to scrabble on the wall. But he had to have it;
Tom said hed GOT
up three wash-pans full of flour before we got through,
and we got burnt pretty much all over, in places, and eyes
put out with the smoke; because, you see, we didnt want
nothing but a crust, and we couldnt prop it up right, and
she would always cave in.
I declare to gracious ther AINT but nine! she says.
Why, what in the world plague TAKE the things, Ill
count m again.
So I slipped back the one I had, and when she got done
counting, she says:
Hang the troublesome rubbage, thers TEN now! and
she looked hu
noon. We was very well satisfied with this business, and
Tom allowed it was worth twice the trouble it took,
because he said NOW she couldnt ever count them
spoons twice alike again to save her life; and wouldnt
believe shed counted them right if she DID;
4. Here, homeless and friendless, after
thirty-seven years of bitter captivity,
perished a noble stranger, natural son of
Toms voice trembled whilst he was reading them, and
he most broke down. When he got done he couldnt no
way make up his min
De goodness gracious alive, Mars Tom! Why, if dey
was a rattlesnake to come in heah Id take en bust right
out thoo dat log wall, I would, wid my head.
Why, Jim, you wouldnt be afraid of it after a little.
You could tame it.
Yes easy enough. Every
would just lay that work down and light out. I never see
such a woman. And you could hear her whoop to Jericho.
You couldnt get her to take a-holt of one of them with
the tongs. And if she turned over and found one in bed
she would scramble out and lift a
as long as we could; because we allowed wed tire them
out or theyd got to tire us out, and they done it. Then we
got allycumpain and rubbed on the places, and was pretty
near all right again, but couldnt set down convenient.
And so we went for the snakes,
Why, Mars Tom, I doan WANT no sich glory. Snake
take n bite Jims chin off, den WHAH is de glory? No,
sah, I doan want no sich doins.
Blame it, cant you TRY? I only WANT you to try
you neednt keep it up if it dont work.
But de trouble all DONE ef de snake
You dont WANT spring water; you want to water it
with your tears. Its the way they always do.
Why, Mars Tom, I lay I kin raise one er dem mullenstalks twyste wid spring water whiles another mans a
STARTN one wid tears.
That aint the idea. You GOT to do it
IN the morning we went up to the village and bought
a wire rat-trap and fetched it down, and unstopped the
best rat-hole, and in about an hour we had fifteen of the
bulliest kind of ones; and then we took it and put it in a
safe place under
We aint got no time to bother over that, he says; we
got to dig in like all git-out.
Well, anyway, I says, whats SOME of it? Whats a
A fess a fess is YOU dont need to know what a
fess is. Ill show him how to make it when he gets to it.
No, sah, gimme gyarter-snakes, f Is got to have m, but
doan gimme no rats; I hain got no use fr um, skasely.
But, Jim, you GOT to have em they all do. So
dont make no more fuss about it. Prisoners aint ever
without rats. There aint no instance of it. And
worried about you, and come. And theyll just fairly
swarm over you, and have a noble good time.
Yes, DEY will, I reckn, Mars Tom, but what kine er
time is JIM havin? Blest if I kin see de pint. But Ill do it
ef I got to. I reckn I better keep de animals s
five minutes, picking tallow- drip off of his candle and
thinking. Then he turns off slow and dreamy towards the
Well, for the life of me I cant remember when I done
it. I could show her now that I warnt to blame on
account of the rats. Bu
Oh, for the lands sake! Give a body a rest! Go long
now, the whole kit and biling of ye; and dont come nigh
me again till Ive got back my peace of mind.
ID a heard her if shed a said it to herself, let alone
speaking it out; and Id a got up and obeyed her
years as we wanted, and no hurry; and we wouldnt get
but a few minutes to dig, every day, while they was
changing watches, and so our hands wouldnt get blistered,
and we could keep it up right along, year in and year out,
and do it right, and the way it o
AS soon as we reckoned everybody was asleep that
night we went down the lightning-rod, and shut ourselves
up in the lean-to, and got out our pile of fox-fire, and
went to work. We cleared everything out of the way,
about four or five foot a
or something like that. So we cant resk being as long
digging him out as we ought to. By rights I reckon we
ought to be a couple of years; but we cant. Things being
so uncertain, what I recommend is this: that we really dig
right in, as quick as we can; a
doing his level best with the lightning-rod, but he
couldnt come it, his hands was so sore. At last he says:
It aint no use, it cant be done. What you reckon I
better do? Cant you think of no way?
Yes, I says, but I reckon it aint regular. Come up the
Sunday-school book out with; and I dont give a dead rat
what the au- thorities thinks about it nuther.
Well, he says, theres excuse for picks and letting-on
in a case like this; if it warnt so, I wouldnt approve of it,
nor I wouldnt stand by and see the r
Huck Finn, did you EVER hear of a prisoner having
picks and shovels, and all the modern conveniences in his
wardrobe to dig himself out with? Now I want to ask you
if you got any reasonableness in you at all what kind
of a show would THAT give him to be
a knife in, and smuggle it to Jim to kill the seneskal with,
it would a been all right. So I let it go at that, though I
couldnt see no advantage in my representing a prisoner if
I got to set down and chaw over a lot of gold-leaf
distinctions like that ev
that dug himself out that way; how long was HE at it, you
I dont know.
I dont know. A month and a half.
THIRTY-SEVEN YEAR and he come out in
China. THATS the kind. I wish the bottom of THIS
fortress was solid rock.
JIM dont know nobod
two or three ways, but there warnt no need to decide on
any of them yet. Said wed got to post Jim first.
That night we went down the lightning-rod a little
after ten, and took one of the candles along, and listened
under the window-hole, and heard Jim sno